Thursday, December 08, 2005

Stars back Kelvingrove bandstand revival

THREE of Scotland's most popular bands are to support the restoration of the old bandstand in Kelvingrove Park. Scottish acts such as Franz Ferdinand, Teenage Fanclub and Belle and Sebastian have agreed to support the restoration plan, thought to be in the region of £500,000 for the Kelvingrove bandstand which has held concerts for the likes of Wet Wet Wet, Hue and Cry and Deacon Blue, in the past.

Costing £3500, the bandstand was built in 1924 and proved to be a popular venue military band concerts. It was closed in 1998 after it was deemed to be structurally unsafe. Of course it should be saved," said Alex Kapranos, of Franz Ferdinand. "What an amazing venue it would be," he said. "It's such a fantastic Glasgow landmark, and it's a great wasted opportunity. It's in such a beautiful setting, and (restoring) it could really enrich the city's cultural scene. To see it crumble would be a waste." Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian remembers seeing bands such as Hue And Cry and Tom Robinson perform at a "crammed" bandstand in the 1980s. He said: "I look upon it as one of the spiritual parts of the west end. I dig the bandstand as much when there's nothing going on, which is all the time now, as when there was stuff going on. It's got a magical atmosphere."

The bands have joined the campaign of Friends of Kelvingrove Park who have prepared a business plan which highlights the potential of the bandstand to be used in such annual Stars hope to attract big crowds back to the bandstand at Kelvingrove in the future events as Shakespeare in the Park, concerts and theatre performances. Ed Gillett, the group's secretary will meet Council officials from the parks department at some point this month to discuss the future of the bandstand.

Kenny Boyle, head of Glasgow's parks, backed the Friends but did not rule out private involvement in the refurbishment if their plan did not come to fruition. He explained: "I want a bandstand that attracts people and is sustainable and doesn't start to fall into disrepair because a number of people spend all their money organising a concert and it gets rained off." source: West end news